Monday, October 09, 2006

Me and George or Prime Time and the President

There is a good chance that on Tuesday October second President Bush was watching my Five a.m. newscast. Impossible you say? Why would the leader of the free world be watching something I produced? Logic. Before you scoff, allow me to explain. Most producers of local news in this country (except for maybe Washington) don’t really have an opportunity to produce news that could be seen by the Commander in Chief. The President is either outside the coverage area, (98 percent of markets except Washington and often in the case of Mr. Bush Texas) or outside of the country. So for the second time in the last six years President Bush made a stop in Northern California, which let me step up to the plate to produce a show that could possibly logically be seen by the Leader of the Free World.

On Monday night the President arrived in Stockton California one of the three major areas my television station covers, (Sacramento, Stockton, Modesto). He arrived on Air Force One and rode in his motorcade to a local Radisson hotel, (Yes the President actually stayed at a Radisson Hotel.) There he spent what experts believe was a quiet night before his busy day of Campaigning on Tuesday for two local Republican Congressmen up for re-election in the mid-term elections. So Bush is (presumably) alone in his hotel room. What do any of us do when in a Hotel room the night before a business trip? We watch TV. Which is were most morning show viewers come from. Most people watch the same channel in the morning they were watching the night before. So I looked at the evening line up on the big four and said to myself what is George more inclined to watch before heading to bed?

I first looked at NBC the number one rated news station in our market. They were showing the new show by the West Wing creative team, Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. Somehow I don’t think that’s the show that Mr. Bush would watch. In fact I think he would hate that show for a few reasons. One it’s basically the West Wing except it takes place in a Hollywood studio instead of the White House. As Stephen Cobert constantly says Hollywood hates America, and our troops. So watching a show about Hollywood types would be un-American, hell it’s practically communist. Second I’m sure Bush just hates creator Allen Sorkin, for the West Wing and all the grief it cause and probably will mentally boycott anything he ever does.

Next I highly doubt he was watching Fox’s new drama Vanished for similar though different reasons. The show involves the disappearance of a Senator’s wife. I have to assume that he has enough politics in his real life, he doesn’t need to watch it when he is trying to unwind.

So maybe he turned to CBS to watch the CSI Miami. I can tell you that Bush may really have wanted to watch this show but I know he wouldn’t. Why I personally know Mr. Bush hates CBS, and that he would never watch anything on the network no matter how attractive or alluring the setting or sexy the plot of a CSI. How do I know he has a deep-seated resentment to the Tiffany network? First He hates Dan Rather, the former face of the Network News, and the fall guy of the Rathergate debacle that questioned our Presidents commitment to our country and its freedom. So the feeling there is a mutual hate. When I worked for CBS Mr. Bush also had passive ways to take his hate out on CBS. He always went on the air with a speech or a special report during the last ten minutes of Survivor, Big Brother, and to a lesser extent the Amazing Race. The special reports would come as the tribe member/house mate/ race team were about to be voted off and there would be a barrage of calls to our station saying who cares about the president – I want to see how they voted on Survivor, (which coincidentally explains why he got re-elected since most people cared more about who got voted off the island than who got voted into the White House.)

So this leaves only one option. The President was watching the two-hour season premier of the Bachelor. Its mindless TV and had beautiful women fighting over a guy in a castle, granted it was taking place outside of America so there is a chance he was watching something else on cable - but I doubt the Stockton Radisson has a huge selection of cable options. So that means when the President went to sleep his TV was still on ABC. When he woke up this morning the leader of the free world did the same thing that most of us do when we get up in a hotel. Blink a few times question where we are, and how we got there, then flip on the TV and go to the bathroom. So when that TV turned on, hopefully somewhere between five and six am there was my newscast – proudly airing before the President.


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